Is anyone really surprised that Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson gave an interview bashing the gay community? The real story will be how A&E handles the backlash coming from all sides. The LBGT community is praising the network’s decision to suspend Robertson for his comments. However on the other side, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal expressed support for the “Duck Commander” patriarch, as did former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck and others. In fact there’s a Facebook page demanding Robertson’s return with more than 600,000 “likes”. #StandWithPhil is spreading across Twitter.
A&E is caught in a real dilemma involving one of the highest rated shows ever to appear on cable. There is no simple solution to this mess. We advise clients caught in this type of trap to continually monitor all social media channels for trends that can appear within minutes. In addition they need have their crisis team ready to respond as needed.